Saturday, March 17, 2007

Snow walk

March snowfall in West Juneau as of 3/17: 82.2"
Season to date: 234.9"

I may have left the impression that the impact of not riding my bike and the recent deluge of mid-March snow has left me miserable. That's really not the case. I'm actually thrilled about the snow. Geoff predicts that this past storm was winter's last big gasp. With the 12 hours of daylight and temperatures threatening to creep toward 40, that may be true. Once the freeze breaks, the rain will return. Then I really will be depressed. So I'm trying to enjoy it while I can. I take a lot of snow walks. Maybe you'd like to join me today.

The above picture is my backyard. My patio table is buried in there somewhere.

This is my neighbor's house. He religiously snowblows and sands his driveway every day, methodically shooting all of that snow into neat piles that are now more than 10 feet high. Since the street itself is rarely plowed after storms, I can only deduce that all of that effort is the foundation of what will someday be the world's largest residential snow cave.

I only have to hike up two unplowed blocks to have a pretty good view of downtown across the channel.

The Dan Moller access trail itself is carved by skiers, and is thus only about .35 cm wide. A duck-waddling snowshoer could really twist a knee in this narrow shoot, so I have to walk carefully.

The view disappears behind the white-weighted canopy of spruce trees.

Soon, there's nothing to see but a black and white world splashed in shades of gray.

I nearly always turn around at an arbitrary point where elevation prevails and the forest begins to fade under the cloud cover. It's not that I mind hiking in the fog. But usually I have a time schedule to keep, so I go for say 45 minutes, turn around to take in the latest blank-slate meadow view, then start back. I'm now nearly as fast going down the mountain as I am hiking up it, which means I'm healing. And pretty soon, when this snow finally settles and hardens beneath the spring thaw/rain/refreeze cycle, I'll bring Snaux bike up here for a giddy downhill celebration.

5 comments:

  1. Your neighborhood is *way* better then mine:-)

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  2. Thank you for the snow walk! I always feel like I am in Alaska after reading your blog!!

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  3. wow, great photos!

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  4. You've got our snow! Fairbanks is going to be a desert this summer....extremely low snowfall this winter. Sucks for skiers like me.

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  5. What ever happened to local wisdom? As I recall, everyone told you it didn't snow in Juneau, it rained...and if it did snow it was wet or something like that.

    Looks like it snows just fine!

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